Thursday, April 19, 2018

Heading out

If it seems like I've been getting ready to leave for a week, it's because I have been. Actually, it's been more like two weeks. But we leave on Friday and my "to-do" list is down to two items.

Havoc went to a new home today. It's just a new foster home for the moment, but it may become a new permanent home. The prospective adopter came to meet him on Wednesday and wants to evaluate him as a potential search and rescue dog. He did pretty well; he thought he was just playing, which he was. I am hopeful for his long term prospects with this person, but at the very least it's new life experience for him and it should be a good one.

Axel will be going to his new adopter on Friday, on our way up to Dulles airport. Axel has been nothing but a pleasure to have around here and he was a real blessing to have while we had Havoc.

I took Maya, TJ, and Trooper out for a hike this afternoon. We went 3.5 miles. Afterwards I took Trooper and Max to their boarding facility. Our house sitter will have just six dogs to handle, which is fewer than we've ever had, but a good many more than she normally handles. I think everyone is in good hands.

She threw the ball into a thicket of trees. He went in and
searched for it until he found it and brought it back out.

She also brought along two well-trained dogs, a
border collie and a lab, so he will have playmates.

Axel enjoyed playing with Havoc almost as much as
Havoc enjoyed playing with Axel.

Maya and Trooper
TJ's hiking smile

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Fun in the sun

Rugger and Havoc
Owning an old house and eight acres of land can be a pain in the ass. I sometimes understand the attraction of living in an apartment or condo and having no responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep.

But then there are days like this. Beautiful, sunny, freshly cut grass is soft on the feet, and the scent of lilac fills the air. We have the space to have 10 dogs or so without incurring the wrath of a condo board or homeowners association. We have room to let them run without relying on a dog park with other people and unknown dogs. I enjoy it, sure, but what I enjoy most is giving them the pleasures of running free, chasing balls, tackling each other, just giving them the chance to experience the joys of being a dog. I share those joys vicariously, perhaps wishing for another pair of legs and a tail, and the ability to engage in uninhibited play.

Havoc played ball. They all did except Sparky.

Axel (left), Havoc (right) and Theo in the rear.

Axel and Rugger in front, Theo and Havoc in the rear.

Theo, Axel, Havoc, and Max

Max in front, Axel, Rugger, Theo, Havoc in the rear.

Sparky bounced around a little bit in the beginning,
but mostly he stuck close to me, so close that
I couldn't get any good pictures of him. This was
after yesterday's baths so the sun and run helped everyone dry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Doggo Do List

I've been feeling good about travel preparations mostly because I'm pretty much packed already, which is usually the last thing I do. But yesterday I sat down and made a "to-do" list of just dog stuff.

  • Call in and pick up re-fill of Max's Rx
  • Package Max's pills in daily pill packs
  • Bathe Axel and Havoc to look/smell good for prospective adopters
  • Medicated bath for Rugger
  • Havoc's meet and greet on Wednesday
  • Get together Axel and Havoc paperwork - vet records and adoption contracts
  • Update instructions for dog sitter
  • Arrange drop off of Max and Trooper
  • Pick up another bag of Rugger's food
  • Fill food containers at home
  • Fill food containers to go for Max and Trooper
  • Flea/tick/heartworm treatment for everyone

Axel hopped into the tub for me with very
little urging. He was good.
Today I started crossing off some of these items from the list. For some reason, that's a very satisfying sensation. If I do something that's not on the list, I add it to the list later just so I can cross it off. The feeling of accomplishment is an adult high that isn't matched by many other things that still leave you feeling good the next morning. 

Havoc was also surprisingly good in the bath.
He came out really soft and fluffy.

Rugger still has a bit of funky smell to him so
I figured this was a good time for another bath.
He stepped right into the tub for me.

He's done with his medications now so we'll
see how his skin does over the two weeks we
are gone without any treatment.

Since I was doing dog baths, I figured I might as well do
Sparky too. He was shedding more than I realized.
When we return I'll do the shepherds who will probably all be
blowing their coats by that time.

Sparky wasn't thrilled, but he tolerated it.
Sparky knows I'm always trying to help him.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sun and Clouds

The first of these pics were taken on a sunny evening, I think it was last Friday. It was one of those 80 degree days and I waited until late in the day before going out to walk with Maya and Rugger.

Rugger loves, really loves, our walks. I don't know if he had ever done anything like this in his past,  but he enjoys it immensely. After all that time spent living in a basement, laying on concrete, he's ready for a dog's life the way it's supposed to be. His fur is looking better all the time and you can really see that it has filled in around his eyes.

Sunday night we had the "Big Storm." The truly severe weather missed us, and I'm very glad, but we still got about 4" of rain overnight. Monday wasn't bad and the sun even tried to break out a few times so I took Maya, Rugger, and TJ up to Pleasant Grove for a walk. The trails were officially closed, which I generally ignore, but after 4" of rain I knew they would be muddy. We just walked the roadways and some well-drained and grassy trail sections and managed to get in four miles.
In addition to the beautiful color of his coat in the late day sun,
you can see in these pics that the fur is filling in around his
eyes so he doesn't have those big bare, black circles around
his eyes that made him look so old and tired. 

We encountered a lot of runners today, some of whom stopped and asked if they could pet the dogs. I had friendly dogs with me today so I said ok and the dogs all enjoyed the encounters, even Maya. When they took off running Rugger wanted to go with them, but I had to explain that I could not manage that pace. I'm not sure Rugger understood, but he's stuck with me until he can find someone faster.

Unless she has just spotted a deer, there is usually some slack in Maya's leash.
Rugger's leash is usually pulled tight, although he may be either ahead of me or behind me.

A dogwood tree on the edge of the woods beginning to bloom.
I brushed TJ after today's hike, but got surprisingly little fur
off of him. When his coat begins to blow it will be a major event.

I don't know if anyone has given this great oak a name,
but it deserves one. 

The redbud trees are really beautiful now. This is their week.
Rugger always turns around to look at me when I stop.